Posted On March 1, 2009 By In The Phish Bowl And 617 Views

March 2009

TRIVIA QUESTION: What is considered the standard distance between bike racks in a triathlon transition area?

Elite triathlete AHMED ZAHER was hit by an angry driver on Jan.29 while training on his bicycle at a camp he sponsors in Hawaii. His collar bone was broken, along with some broken ribs that punctured his lung, and he had severe road rash. JEFF BEAUREGARD was first on the scene along with JEANNE JONES, both part of the camp. They immediately took care of Ahmed. According to KHAI HARBUT who was on the trip, Ahmed was going downhill over 40 MPH when the driver clipped Ahmed from behind with her mirror. “She wasn’t going to stop until she realized there were witnesses who had her license plate number.” It’s believed the truck the lady was driving was traveling at 45 MPH and was trying to buzz Ahmed to scare another cyclist off the road. According to Ahmed, she got out of the truck and began yelling at him. “I was shocked. Man, there is one evil woman out there other than my ex-wife.” He spent a week in a hospital there before flying back to Texas on Feb 5. Upon returning, he had shoulder surgery on Feb. 10 under Texas Sports Medicine’s Dr. Levy and Dr. MELVIN, where a plate was inserted into his shoulder for the crushed collarbone. It’s thought Ahmed won’t be able to train seriously until late May. A week later, Ahmed had this to say: “I always tell my wife and kids not to take anyone or anything for granted. That is where people always get in trouble. I try to work on this everyday and give the little extra to everyone and everything I do. I still wondered if I did enough as I hit the asphalt head first and rolled up and down, side to side for 100 meters or so after a women hit me. At the hospital, everyone made so many remarks on how healthy I am, how fast I’m healing, and how I would have never survived this crash if it was not for my healthy lifestyle. It’s not surprising to me. I made this choice a while back. We can’t control when our time will come but we can control how we will live until that day comes. I can guarantee you that I will make sure I take even better care of myself now than I ever did before as I saw first-hand what this investment brings. Don’t take your health for granted and take care of yourself. I always loved people but now I love them even more.” Ahmed’s wife, STACI BRODE, commented on his healing: “He’s not sitting on the couch, but he should be! You know you triathletes, always doing more than you should.” Khai chided in, “Some guys will do anything for an IV bag.” Staci responded, “I know Ahmed will be back stronger than ever.”

OK, guys, need a date? Listen up. At the DRC TAL MORRISON 5K & 15K on Jan. 31, the 5K females outnumbered males in EVERY age group from 15 to 49, including Athenas over Clydesdales.

Males simply looking for a race trophy might consider the Hills and Heels Challenge races building up their May half marathon. It’s part of non-profit women’s race series. On Feb. 22, the organizers hosted a 5K where 102 females and only two males competed. It was a replay of their last race in January. Good news: both guys trophied. Sad news: the fastest of the two males, ZACH ROBERTS, came in 15th overall.

On Feb 1, The Heels and Hills Distance Challenge 1 Mile was held at the Champion Trails in Irving. But of the all the entrants, only one was a male.

The Too Cold Two Hold 15K on Jan. 24 gave out winter beanie’s, or pull overs for the head that didn’t quite pass quality control. Two comments from participants at the race that got the caps instead of the customary t-shirt, was “I felt like I was getting an acupuncture treatment from a blindfolded porcupine. How could anyone wear this for more than a minute without the permanent buildup up of forehead scar tissue? The stitch job feels like rusty nails dragging across the front end of my brain protector. If my memory serves me correctly, they were given to the first 1500 that signed up, in addition to shirts. We were talking about the beanies this morning. ED COUNTRYMAN, one of our runners and SMU professor, said ‘Maybe they should have used them in a Christian run, running with a crown of thorns.’” Another simply said, “The stitching in the front can be very abrasive to the skin.”

GAIL SPANN has been appointed the Texas Ambassador for the League of American Bicyclists. Each state will have an ambassador to keep tabs on issues and what’s happening in the bicycle groups. Gail has been the Chairperson for the Texas Bicycle Coalition, an advisor to BikeDFW, and the Dallas Director for the world-wide Ride Of Silence, that takes place locally at White Rock Lake. “My role as liaison will be taken quite seriously. I will be at Cyclists in Suits day and attending the National Bike Summit. My commitment to the Cycling world has been a joy over the years and I plan to continue with my volunteer work as long as possible.

One of the bills up before the Texas House is HB Bill 736. This new law could outlaw bicycles as a nuisance. It reads: “restrain or prohibit any amusement or practice  tending to annoy persons passing on a street or sidewalk, including the firing of firecrackers or guns, the use of a bicycle or similar conveyance, and the use of a firework or similar material. Everyone’s hoping someone will stop the bill.

DAVID BALIS, an MD when not training in the pool (his love), on the run, or on the bike, strained his calf muscle in Feb. But he was seen at White Rock Lake back on the road training again a month later. But, he is planning on a full season of Olympic distance triathlons and some sprint distances. Last year, Dave really developed into a formidable runner, placing at the Dallas Turkey Trot.

MEREDITH FOSTER had some thoughts about running lately. “I have a love/hate relationship with running in the winter. On the weekends, I love that I can start my run at 9am, and can wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt. What I don’t like is that I can’t run in the mornings before work because it is dark, and I won’t run by myself in the dark. If I had to choose, I would pick running in the summer. Ask me again in August when I’m getting up at 4am so I can finish my run before it is 90 degrees out, and I will probably tell you I prefer to run in the winter!”


Former DRC President LIBBY JONES won a national award, The Scott Hamilton Award for best club president, because of her work with the DRC. “Thank you so much. I am now a national award winner!  I’m on cloud nine!” I have been blessed in this life with your friendship and support.  Thank you.” You can see this and a list of the other awards at:

But that wasn’t all. THE DALLAS RUNNING CLUB made news when it received national honors for having the best running web site in the country, according to the Road Runner’s Club of America (RRCA). This is quite an achievement, one in which only a single person is responsible: former DRC Pres. LIBBY JONES, who worked tirelessly on the web site. Libby is also credited for her efforts to grow the club to its rightful place of dignity in the metroplex running community by becoming the third largest running club in the U.S. The DRC will receive its award at the RRCA convention in San Francisco, March 26. It is hoped Libby will be present to pick up the award for the club since it is directly the result of her work and persistence that the DRC is even recognized. The web site won on the following criteria: first impression, layout/graphic design, ease of navigation, use of technology, depth of content, up to date, and uniqueness/personality. The top two clubs the DRC beat out for first were the 2nd place Knoxville Track Club, TN, and 3rd place Rochester Track Club, MN. Both were multiple year web site winners. The RRCA commented, “Most reviewers commented on the quality and depth of this year’s entrants and the difficulty it gave them in judging. The judging was incredibly tight with three clubs in a virtual dead heat and a fourth only one vote out. In the end the Dallas Running Club site was picked as the winner.” “I’m thrilled,” Libby said. “You may recall that for the last two years, since I became webmaster, the club’s website had been in the top three club websites, but never the TOP spot. This is a great honor for the club!” She was recently hired to run a lady’s running web site, and has started her own Chip timing business. MEL CYRAK pointed out: Although the award goes to Immediate President Libby Jones, the award actually recognizes all of the active members of the Dallas Running Club. Just think, over 700 clubs and we won.”

Another local woman was also honored by the RRCA. KELLY “K2” RICHARDS, of the Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers who is the North Texas State Representative, won RRCA Outstanding State Representative. Ken Bendy, RRCA Southern Director, said, “Kelly has set the standard for all State reps to attain. We are so fortunate to have a person of her caliber to work with the clubs of North Texas.”

The Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers’ FOOTPRINT was named Best in the Nation! It was selected as the 2008 RRCA Outstanding Club Newsletter of the Year. Members of the RRCA Jerry Little Journalism Award committee, who selected RAW’s FOOTPRINT included Amby Burfoot, the 1967 Boston Marathon winner, author and executive editor of Runner’s World Magazine and Runner’s World columnist Kristen Armstrong.

Last, The Phast Times News columnist, CHUCK HOBBS was among those nominated for the RRCA Jerry Little Excellence in Journalism – Club Writer Award.

At the multi-sports awards banquet for the 2008 season, BRONDA STARLING tied with one of her best friends (TAMMY ROONEY) for the most multi-sport races by a female. The Starling Award named after Bronda, was given posthumously after Bronda died of brain cancer in July last year. Both women did nine duathlons. JACK and ESTHER WEISS received The President’s Award. “It was a surprise and a great honor, Jack said. “I have a lot of friends that know how to keep quiet. I never had a clue. The award was really nice and special, but we never think about those things. We just do what we do, one day at a time. Then one day you turn around and wow! Where did it all go and look where we are.” The Phoenix Award is given to the athlete that has overcome the most and returned to multi-sport racing. This year, local runner and triathlete CONNIE TRAUTMAN took home the award.

A new board was also voted in for the four-state area (TX, OK, LA, AR). President DAVE YOUNG, Plano, TX,; Vice President/Recognition Programs JOHN RICCA, Plano, TX,; Treasurer GRANT ANDERSON, Houston, TX,; Secretary RENE LAVERGNE, Little Rock, AR,; Championships TREY STOLZ, New Orleans, LA,; Clubs BRIAN SCHMIDT, San Antonio, TX,; Communications/Officials MERRY PRATHER, McKinney, TX,; Rankings TODD TERRY, Dallas, TX,; Race Director Liaison/Coaches, BEN ELDER, Harahan, LA,; Collegiate Programs NICK SEIDEL, New Braunfels, TX,; High School Programs DOUG FAIRCHILD, Amarillo, TX,; Youth & Junior Development BORIS ROBINSON, Round Rock, TX, OLEN PENN has served on the triathlon four-state regional board for five years, 2004-2008. He has been the Treasurer of the USAT South Midwest region previously, but says this is his final year. “I’m done. I did not want another term. After being on the board, I wonder how Congress or the Senate get anything accomplished. For me, it wasn’t a thankless job. The athletes were good to me. I enjoyed being on the board the first three years. I’ve never liked the way national is running the sport. And after Bronda became ill, I knew that I lost the person that kept me going and my interest dropped. New people with new energy need to take charge.”

The world-wide RIDE OF SILENCE free bike ride, that got its start at White Rock Lake in 2003 and is scheduled for May 20, has licensed official products for the first time. This will help defray the costs that have risen has the ride has grown. Go to: to view the products.

At the Feb 7 running of the TEXAS HALF MARATHON, impressive times were a surprise to everyone. The race is known more as a training run than a race, as many use the 13.1 mile distance as a stepping stone to another race. The reason is that there is little offered at the race, including the course, that makes it appealing. Nevertheless, the winning time (1:05:10, 4:58 pace per mile) was faster than November’s DRC Half (1:06:52) where cash prizes are offered, along with the prestige that follows the DRC race. To put this in perspective even more, the winning time from the Dallas White Rock Marathon Half Marathon was 1:04:51, only 19 seconds faster! The DWRM Half is consider a professional race on the calendars of the running agents. The winner of the Texas Half, ISAIAH SANGA took a wrong turn during the race. It’s widely accepted he would have crossed the finish line in a 1:04 time. Just as unusual and unexplainable was second place, almost 17 minutes behind. TONNIE STOUTEN, from a city 60 miles outside of Amsterdam, of the Netherlands traveled to the states to do this race. Sanga, who is not sponsored, said he wanted to make a statement with this race. He left for church shortly after finishing. The first female runner was KAREN LOCKYER, from Lafayette, LA. Only seven males beat her time of 1:26:09. This is quite unusual for a race without any credentials, or a sizable purse for such performances. It’s considered one of Dallas’ smaller races that aspiring athletes use to check their fitness. Last year’s male winner finished in 1:23:30, the male master’s time was 1:24:18. Last year’s female winner stopped the clock at 1:29:09, while the female master’s time, 1:32:14 (FIONA GREEN) was the only time better than this year’s time. Thirty-five year old, RIVA RAHL-GRAEME, former winner of some of Dallas more prestigious races including the Dallas White Rock Marathon and DRC Half Marathon, Dallas 8-Mile Turkey Trot, and this same race last year, finished as the 2nd female, 1:32:39, with 26 males in front of her, chewing her trademark gum the entire way. The 3rd place female was also the Master’s winner, JULIE PLATT, 40, in 1:36:59, with 45 males in front. CLAY RAHN, 33, was 5th overall at the race. His time was 1:25:26, good enough for only 3rd in his age group (both 3rd and 4th overall were also in his age group). “It was a training run,” Clay said. “My big race is the Oceanside, California 70.3 race. I have done Oceanside before. This will be my 4th time.” The April 4th race has many people from DFW entered.

According to race director, TOM SHORT, The UPTOWN RUN is back to doing the original 5 mile distance and the World Invitational is 8K. But the race is not being held this spring. Instead, it will take place on Oct 24. Go to:

A person (and city) with misplaced values, TAMMY KUYKENDALL, a Duncanville school district spokesperson, is quoted as saying the following, on Feb. 2, about the closing of that city’s only pool: “Our business is educating kids, not providing entertainment for the public.” Talk about short sighted!

TONY DEATHERAGE, 70, former TI running coach, had a massive heart attack on Feb 8. “He was a great guy,”  SCOTT STEFFEN said. Tony was a regular at the spring Luke’s Locker track meets. Another former TI coach, PAUL WESTBROOK, wrote an appreciation statement about him. “I think we lost a few shades of color in the world this week when one of our most colorful characters passed away. I’ve known Tony long enough to venture a good guess of what he would want. He would want to see everyone at the track working hard. He would want to see you show the enthusiasm for the sport and the love for each other that he brought every day. Tony almost didn’t make the meet last year because his leg had been really bothering him and he was worried about being a burden. I’m so glad he made it out with us. His work ethic and attitude kept him going strong and healthy right up to the end. He overcame a family history of short life spans and sure got the most out of his. While we all wish for more, we are blessed for the time we all shared together. Someone better start practicing with a stopwatch and memorizing every record and split for the last few decades. Tony left some big spikes to try and fill.” Photo:

KAY PRICE lost her VW key (the flip-out remote kind) while running at the lake on Thursday night, Feb 5. It was lost on the west side of the lake between TP Hill and the new water fountain. If anyone has found it, please call 214-505-6190.

THE KATY TRAIL, one of Dallas’ main pedestrian and bicycle arteries, has hired someone from out of town for design help. MIA BIRK, the 41-year-old former bike program coordinator for the city of Portland, will hope to move Dallas off Bicycling magazine’s “Worst Cities for Cycling.” To read more, go to:

The Dallas Morning News reported on Feb 26 JOSE TORRES, 18, was found guilty for beating and robbing ELIZABETH PREZIO as she biked on the Katy Trail on November 27, 2007. Torres had help from a 15 year old. Together they stole her iPod and cell phone, while Prezio suffered five broken bones that included her pelvis being broken in four places, and a broken collarbone. She spent four days in the hospital healing so she could go home. Torres was sentenced to 20 years in prison and has to pay $10,000. The 15 yr. old was convicted earlier. “I think he really is a violent person,” Prezio reportedly said. “I think he needs to be put away.”

A new entry for the end of the year “Best of 2009” issue under Funniest Race Name: Arlington’s Feb 21 GAY NOT GRUMPY, GLAD NOT SAD 5K.

THE EGG BOARD has a campaign in the opening video of their site that is looking for people to feature who have done weird and not-so-weird things that are, well, incredible. If you’d like to participate, go to:

THE TOUR DALLAS, on April 4, being hosted at City Hall Plaza, will have a new attraction, a Trike Course. “We have some large, oversized tricycles,” said director MIKE KEEL. A course will be set up for tricycles to throw a donation into a hat for the beneficiary (in this case CityHouse in Plano/promo for the Collin Classic) and ride on a special course. Prize categories were not yet determined. Other awards for The Tour include most stylish ride, best jersey from another ride, best legs, hairiest legs. “It will take some stage time and add some fun to the day.”

RANDALL TURNER, 51, a regular at Tuesday Night Track, returned to his first marathon in 16 years (1992 Boston, 3:14, “I had to walk some the last 5 miles”). In December 2008, he decided he wanted to return to the Boston Marathon, known for having the toughest course among the world class marathons. It is also known to have strict qualifying standards. One must run a marathon, and qualify, before getting an official entry. At first, Randall picked February’s Austin Marathon to qualify, but, decided against it once he saw the course and weather that greeted the runner’s this year. He waited two more weeks, and went to Ft. Worth’s Cowtown Marathon on Feb. 28. The course wasn’t much easier, with even fewer people to run with. The weather that morning was horrendous, 25-30 MPH winds, and bone chilling cold. Randall needed a 3:30 race to qualify. He did all of his long runs and track workouts. People thought it would be close. Randall has a tendency to run too fast in the early part of his races. “I have to say, the poor conditions are only a memory now. However the cold weather kept me hydrated. It was hard to complain because I felt pretty good until about mile 21. I was feeling my leg muscles beginning to cramp up, but I prayed to God on several occasions and they went away – the power of prayer! I drank fluid at almost every station. I was thinking I’m going to make this because of my will power.” Randall ran with RIVA RAHL GRAEME from mile 14 to the finish. “She had her mother provide drinks and GU, sharing her awful tasting drink with me at Mile 20, on.” He finished in 3:12:15 (7:18 average), 30th overall, 3rd in his age group. Riva was 3rd overall. “I was so happy. I was blown away. It was a tough day. I felt good, energetic. My wife met me at the finish line.” He’ll be going to Boston in 2010.

MIKE GIBSON became a bike commuter this year. “Today I am a man,” he wrote on March 10. “I just got home from my 100th round-trip commute. My goal has been to survive 100 trips without being crushed by a car, and today I achieved that goal. We shall see what tomorrow brings.”

JOHN YOURSE is running for the White Rock Lake district city council. As far as anyone knows, he is the first person running for local office who runs a loop of White Rock Lake, regularly. He recently ran in the 18 mile Our Lady of the Lake run, winning the two-man team division. “Just shows what  dedicated middle age guys can do with a bit of prodding and a big goal to achieve.”

And, finally, we’ll be able to get our snacks quicker and feel we’re doing our part helping the local economy. The makers of Twinkies, Dolly Madison Zingers, and Donut Gems is moving to Dallas. Dallas will have the “bragging rights as the new home of one of the largest wholesale bakers and distributors in the United States,” reported the Dallas Morning News, Feb.19. Now there’s something that can move the city up the fitness ladder. Interstate Bakeries hopes to have the home offices located here by spring. Other big snack food companies in the area include Frito-Lay, and Grupo Bimbo (makers of Mrs. Baird’s Bread).

TRIVIA QUESTION: What is considered the standard distance between bike racks in a triathlon transition area?

ANSWER: The standard distance between bike racks in a triathlon transition area is 15 feet.

“Now go into the world in peace, have courage, hold on to what is good. Honor all men, be just, and show kindness. Strengthen the faint hearted, support the weak, help the suffering. Love, share, and believe. And may grace always be with you.”

Stay active and I’ll see you in The Phish Bowl. Let’s swim, bike, or run together. Go get’em!

Chris Phelan has written, laid out, photographed, and published The Phast Times News since 2001. He’s crisscrossed Texas on his bike three times, swam 5 miles across Lake Ray Hubbard three times, completed three Ironman triathlons, and has represented the US in completion three times, and run with the Olympic Torch. He maintained All-American status for five years and has also biked across the country, 3600 miles in 30 days. The running/triathlon coach has PR’s of 2:27 marathon, 15:40 5K, 3:55 at the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred, and 10:00:52 Ironman. Chris is the only person to have won overall and Master’s at Dallas’ Crosson Dannis road racing series, DRC road racing series, and the USAT/SMW duathlon series. In 1988 he began Dallas’ oldest track workout, 1998 started north Texas’ first treadmill class, and 2003 he founded the world-wide Ride Of Silence. He’s been twice nominated Master’s Road Runner of the Year, highlighted in a variety of magazines and is frequently asked to speak at camps and organizations about fitness. Outside of swimming, biking, and running, Chris has summited several mountains including Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.